Divinity is the Devil

Karo Syrup. Go on. Say it with me. Kaaaaay-rooooow suuuuur-up. Drag it out. It sounds better that way. Why are we talking about Karo Syrup? Because without Karo Syrup we wouldn’t have one of the absolute level best products of the Southern kitchen — Divinity. Sounds like a purely heavenly treat doesn’t it? Don’t be…

This is a very good pie.

Your Christmas may smell like pine boughs, or cinnamon, or chocolate, but mine smells like coconut. And liquor. But that was another post. Let’s stick with coconut for now. I put coconut in everything at Christmas. There’s coconut in ambrosia, bourbon balls, Lane Cake, Coconut Cake, and on and on and on. Maybe it’s because…

Sister Audnitha’s Filé Gumbo

(Just a quick note before we get into today’s post: We’ve come to the end of the See Jane Write #bloglikecrazy challenge. Thirty recipes, in thirty days. And I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who followed along throughout this month. This challenge certainly gets my mind working and gets the creative juices…

How to Put the Scald on a Bird

It was Christmas day in the early double aughts, and it was just Sonny, Brother, and me. We’d thought for a few weeks about all the good things we wanted to cook for Christmas dinner and finally settled on fried chicken. To us, holidays are not about having the fanciest dinner you can have, but…

Lemon Jelly Cake

One of my favorite cakes is a Lemon Jelly Cake — yellow cake layers with lemon filling in between them and on top. No fussy, too-sugary icing (or Seven-minute Frosting). Just plain, buttery cake and a sweet, tart jelly. The recipe for the lemon jelly comes from my great grandmother, Ada Rowell, and I found…

Leftovers: The Best Part of Thanksgiving

You’ve planned and shopped for weeks to get ready for Thanksgiving. You’ve cooked for two days, maybe even three. You’ve polished Granny’s Grand Baroque silver, gotten out the good china — the bone with the gold band not the pink flowers because that’s too summery, ironed the napkins into perfect rectangles, and arranged the flowers…

Pecan Pie

We are a house divided. And it doesn’t have anything to do with football. It does have everything to do with a nut. That’s right. A nut. You see my Georgia-born boo says “PEE-can” and I of Alabama birth say “puh-KAHN.” Now admittedly this is not a subject that comes up for disagreement every day….

Sweet Potato Pie

The influence of African-Americans on Southern food cannot be ignored. From greens to okra to ham hocks and more, many of my favorite dishes originated from a culture that is not my own. And Thanksgiving always features something that is extremely prominent in traditional African-American food — the sweet potato. I love sweet potatoes. You…

Dressing vs. Stuffing

It’s time we had a little talk about the semantics of “dressing” versus “stuffing.” Where I come from, south Alabama, we are die-hard dressing people. In fact, I don’t know that I’ve ever heard any of my brethren or sistren from south of the Mason-Dixon line refer to the most beloved of all Thanksgiving sides…

Ada’s Rice Dressing

In the mid 1890s, my great grandfather, Andrew Joseph Rowell, Jr., was a young man in need of gainful employ. He had heard that there were jobs at a logging camp in Chicora, Miss., which was not too far away. Joby, as he was known to his family, traveled up there to sign on and…